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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    49

    Chiller with glycol.

    Have any of you heard of the practice of draining a chiller this part of the glycol loop? I understand shutting it down for the season but I do not understand why you would go through the trouble of draining it? In all my time in the trade I've never been asked to do this, I have a few chillers did I winterize by draining the water from them and running glycol through them but I've never heard of this. Thanks in advance for your responses?

    added just cuz it's funny

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    BAJA AND CALIFORNIA
    Posts
    90
    hi what is the size of the systems ??? are you gonna change the glycol for maintenance routine or which are the reasons for change it , normally if your level or concentration of glycol is ok , i didnt see reason for change or drain.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    49
    Hi thanks for your reply. My brother who is the director of a healthcare facility has asked me for a second opinion. Before I replied to him I thought I would just check to see if I'm missing something. Apparently the contractor drains the glycol on the roof every fall. And then charges him to refill it in the spring. So I have not seen work on this system. From what I gathered from the e-mail this is the contractor's method of slowly (over a period of years) getting the glycol level to where it needs to be. So of course I don't know the details. But I think I will be responding to get the glycol level to where it needs to be now or in the spring and then do not drain any part of the system as part of scheduled maintenance. From the size of the building I am guessing we are in the neighborhood of 100 tons,

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Austell, Ga.
    Posts
    1,294
    True story Atlanta Ga, Arena.

    Chief Engr.- We need to drain the chill water loop so we can replace some bad valves on the bowl units.

    York Mechanic- Too bad "No" isolation valves were installed anywhere in the chill water loops at all.

    Chief Engr.-We only installed 1200 gallons of Glycol and I already have 30 of the 55 gallon barrels on order.

    York Mechanic- That will take care of the glycol, but what about the remaining 70% of the water we added??

    Chief Engr.- Leave the water and just drain the Glycol.

    York mechanic leaves the meeting and holds laughter until in a restroom.
    Then returns to meeting.

    York mechanic- Sorry sir, but I was just informed that the mixture is now a solution and cannot be seperated by just draining the Glycol.

    Bldg Engr.- Okay......I'll get some more barrels...

    York mechanic- Just where do you want us to place these barrels for storage.
    Bldg. Engr.- In the damn equipment room silly..

    York mechanic- That will be well over 150 barrels to store where we might get room for half that much.

    Bldg.Engr.- Stack the barrels up to make more room!!!

    York mechanic- We had the annual inspection planned for this downtime also.So we need some room to drop the heads and do the annual tube cleaning etc,.Might I also suggest that some loop isolation valves be installed during this downtime as the labor involved in draining the loops will easily pay for the half dozen valves you need to prevent this from happening again.

    Bldg Engr.- Just drain the damn Glycol so we can fix the damn bowl units and quit trying to sell me something I do not need!!!!

    Five days later Glycol was finally drained with garden hoses.
    One day for the faulty valve replacement.
    Six days later after glycol was reinstalled it was found that several other mixing valves were defunct and another shutdown was to be scheduled.
    Ain't "None" of us as smart as "All" of us..

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    49
    that was so funny. what a story

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Dixiana, AL
    Posts
    2,609
    You don't get glycol to where it needs to be over a period of years - you get it right the first time and check it on a routine basis to make sure everything stays correct. It sounds more like your brothers service provider is trying to make sure his operating capital stays where it needs to be over a period of years.
    Last edited by klove; 10-14-2011 at 10:38 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Dixiana, AL
    Posts
    2,609
    Quote Originally Posted by RichardL View Post
    True story Atlanta Ga, Arena.

    Chief Engr.- We need to drain the chill water loop so we can replace some bad valves on the bowl units.

    York Mechanic- Too bad "No" isolation valves were installed anywhere in the chill water loops at all.

    Chief Engr.-We only installed 1200 gallons of Glycol and I already have 30 of the 55 gallon barrels on order.

    York Mechanic- That will take care of the glycol, but what about the remaining 70% of the water we added??

    Chief Engr.- Leave the water and just drain the Glycol.

    York mechanic leaves the meeting and holds laughter until in a restroom.
    Then returns to meeting.

    York mechanic- Sorry sir, but I was just informed that the mixture is now a solution and cannot be seperated by just draining the Glycol.

    Bldg Engr.- Okay......I'll get some more barrels...

    York mechanic- Just where do you want us to place these barrels for storage.
    Bldg. Engr.- In the damn equipment room silly..

    York mechanic- That will be well over 150 barrels to store where we might get room for half that much.

    Bldg.Engr.- Stack the barrels up to make more room!!!

    York mechanic- We had the annual inspection planned for this downtime also.So we need some room to drop the heads and do the annual tube cleaning etc,.Might I also suggest that some loop isolation valves be installed during this downtime as the labor involved in draining the loops will easily pay for the half dozen valves you need to prevent this from happening again.

    Bldg Engr.- Just drain the damn Glycol so we can fix the damn bowl units and quit trying to sell me something I do not need!!!!

    Five days later Glycol was finally drained with garden hoses.
    One day for the faulty valve replacement.
    Six days later after glycol was reinstalled it was found that several other mixing valves were defunct and another shutdown was to be scheduled.
    Isn't there (or shouldn't there be) a correction factor multiplier for final billing costs on these type calls?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    49
    It was such a crazy e-mail that this contracter dent my brother it left me second guessing myself. Thanks for your help.


    just love this one ha ha

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    22
    Draining a glycol system isn't really that good for it. You are allowing rust to form in the pipes which could to lead problems.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    4,336
    I guess my question would be........if they drain the glycol for the winter, then why use glycol?

    I'm actually kinda shocked that chiller is shut totally down for the winter at a healthcare facility. Is it just offices and such?

    Btw- I do service some chillers that require replacement of glycol yearly as a minimum. But they are small open package chillers.
    Last edited by ascj; 10-15-2011 at 01:38 PM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Down by the river
    Posts
    1,651
    Quote Originally Posted by klove View Post
    You don't get glycol to where it needs to be over a period of years - you get it right the first time and check it on a routine basis to make sure everything stays correct. It sounds more like your brothers service provider is trying to make sure his operating capital stays where it needs to be over a period of years.
    +1

    and umm, that's why glycol is in the loop, so the water doesnt freeze, also the evap barrel and piping should have heat wire ''Should'' if it does make sure it works.
    It's hard to stop a Trane. but I have made one helluva living keeping them going.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    49
    Well we're in Boston and its nursing home/rehab facility, I'm sure they use a lot of outdoor air for free cooling. And I have the same question you did. And where the only chillers I service have water in them I thought I would ask this question just as a sanity check. Up here with the chillers on Water loops I just drain the water and flush glycol through them.

    I want to adopt this little guy

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    49
    :-)

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